Jonathan Zwickel lives and writes in Seattle. He's senior editor at City Arts magazine and contributes to Pitchfork, the New York Times Style Magazine, The Believer and SPIN and is the author of Beastie Boys: A Musical Biography, published in 2012 by Greenwood Press. This summer he was part of a team that summited 14,410-foot Mt. Rainier while raising more than $40,000 for Fred Hutch Cancer Research. 


The Second Brain: Editing Yourself and Others

If you write at a professional level, the work isn't over when you hit send. Publishing a book, magazine article or an assigned web story is a collaborative effort: You will encounter an editor and this editor will change your writing. Like all forms of improvement, the editing process hurts a little at first but is ultimately constructive. Editing and revising are essential to the writing process. The editor is the second brain, the one that ensures your ideas, borne from inside your own echo-chamber mind, are clearly and efficiently articulated to the outside world. Editing is a form of curation, determining which elements are essential and which are extraneous to produce your strongest possible work. Learning to self-edit will improve your writing before you submit it to a publisher; learning to work with an external editor will facilitate the revision process; learning to edit others will improve your overall chops as a writer. In this course we'll discuss the basic philosophical tenets of editing, providing insight into the key points any professional editor looks for in a piece of writing. We'll also touch on some of the mechanics of good writing and good editing.

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